Made by Jinthree Studio Broken Universe is a unique tower defence game. Initially launched on the Apple app store, it was released for PC players on steam on Feb 5 2023. It’s an amazing tower defence game that shares elements with games such as the Gemcraft series and Infinitode.
The basic gameplay is simple. You traverse several grid-based stages defeating enemies. In each stage, you have a resource income which can’t be upgraded during the stage, and (initially) doesn’t drop from enemies. This is somewhat reminiscent of the Gemcraft games. Towers increase in price as more enter the field. You also get several towers to choose from before going into missions, which, when placed can be fused together making powerful hybrids.
What makes this game so unique isn’t just the art style, but how it uses elements such as upgrading, fusion and abilities to their fullest. Outside of maps, you have a tech tree which contains some basic upgrades, but it gets plenty creative with shields for upgrading buildings, resources dropping from enemies (A big yes for spammy loadouts) and such. Fusion also decreases the number of towers on the field, so it adds depth to gameplay allowing you to reduce costs. It’s good fun playing with these abilities.
The monsters in this game are also something to behold. While they’re charming, they also fit into several archetypes. You’ll find some standard melee or ranged enemies, but when hard mode gets turned on (which is basically half of the game) they gain new abilities such as being able to pass through blocks, spawn other enemies and more. These abilities end up getting combined toward the later parts of the game and have varied counters, making every map an interesting encounter.
Broken Universe isn’t a perfect game of course. It’s got a few bugs and balancing issues, but they aren’t too prevalent in normal gameplay. There is one thing to watch out for though, and that’s the difficulty on hard. While it’s half the game, it can also feel unfair at times though this is slightly redeemed by allowing you to progress the tech tree further. You’ll likely need to grind a bit to get past later levels. It doesn’t play like a traditional tower defence game due to placed towers having health and changing the enemy’s path. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you get into it though.
Definitely give Broken Universe a try if you’ve got a phone. With its varied cast of towers (like the recently introduced railgun which is quite frankly broken as hell when used right) and a charming cast of monsters, it’s almost too good to be free… but (for mobile players) it is free! Though it’s got enough playtime to be worth the $10 USD on Steam, the developers are still updating the game at the time of writing this article!